Google Fiber hi-speed internet coming to Taylorsville homes and businessesJun 14, 2021 11:34AM ● By Carl Fauver
Google Fiber installation work will begin in Taylorsville soon, with some homes possibly connecting to the hi-speed internet provider before the end of the year. (fiber.google.com)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
Recent polls show, Taylorsville residents approve of the job their elected officials are doing. In fact, the city council and mayor’s approval ratings have been almost record-breaking.
However, despite these accolades, City Council Chairman Curt Cochran and his colleagues have also had a nagging thorn in their sides.
“Soon after I took office, a new city resident showed up at a council meeting to told us, ‘If I knew Taylorsville did not have hi-speed internet, I never would have moved here,’” Cochran recalled. “I can think of only a handful of meetings over the past two years when this topic did not come up. That’s why, this year, the mayor, city council and staff made this our No. 1 priority.”
Enter Google Fiber: Problem solved – although it will take some time (perhaps as much as two years) for the hi-speed internet service to be available to every Taylorsville resident.
“As Mayor, I know cutting-edge technology is essential to our community,” Mayor Kristie Overson said, in a special video announcing the new agreement. “We know this is important to our residents too. We have been listening and working – and now we are ready, and thrilled to announce a game changing partnership. Google Fiber is coming to Taylorsville.”
You can view the entire 2:53 minute announcement on the Taylorsville website.
The announcement video – the brainchild of City Communication Director Kim Horiuchi – was quickly produced before the council approved the Google Fiber agreement, and debuted the morning after the unanimous vote. The night of the council vote, Google Fiber Utah Government & Community Affairs Manager Jacob Brace appeared before the council virtually, to answer questions.
“I want to credit the city for working so well with us to put this together,” Brace told the council. “What a team – your mayor, your city manager. We worked out all of the kinks to improve connectivity to improve health care, education and entertainment.”
Taylorsville becomes the sixth Utah city to enjoy the benefits of hi-speed Google Fiber. The service debuted in Provo 8 years ago. It has since been added into: Holladay, Millcreek, Salt Lake and South Salt Lake. Taylorsville will be the first community on the westside of the Salt Lake Valley to get the service.
Two weeks after the announcement about Taylorsville getting Google Fiber, the company made a similar announcement that Sandy City residents will receive it also.
As a couple of examples of what “hi-speed internet” means, Google Fiber officials say residents will be able to download 25 songs through their service in one second, or a full-length HD movie in about 36 seconds.
Brace said work crews will begin to trench and lay fiber lines along major thoroughfares (4700 South, Redwood Road and 5400 South) in the next few months.
“I am confident our first Taylorsville customers will be able to connect to Google Fiber before the end of the year, or early next year,” he added. “We aren’t yet sure which area of the city will be the first to access it.”
In fact, Google Fiber officials admit, while some Taylorsville residents could enjoy hi-speed internet before the end of 2021, others are not likely to have it available in their neighborhoods or apartment complexes until 2023.
“The city could not be more excited, as we are whenever we can deliver high quality service at competitive rates,” City Manager John Taylor said. “We approached Google Fiber mid-year, last year. We talked with quite a few companies. Then we did our due diligence. They have a proven service record.”
Another thing endearing Google Fiber to city officials is that – unlike many other potential hi-speed internet providers – they were not asking for money.
“One company wanted us to commit to a very hefty price to install infrastructure,” Cochran said. “That always bothered me. If they believe in their product, they should not have to ask for money.”
Google Fiber, instead, will pay the city a 2% licensing fee for each customer signing up for the service. City officials do not expect it to amount to a lot of money – but they all agree it is better than tax dollars moving in the other direction.
Google Fiber will now work closely with City Engineer Ben White to finalize installation plans.
“For some residents who are already happy with their internet service, this probably won’t mean much,” White said. “But lots of others will be jumping around like cheerleaders.”
And, although there is not much room for Overson and city council members to have their approval ratings go up any more, this announcement could boost them a point or two. At a minimum, it removes one particular thorn from their sides.